Disgusted

Ananya, daughter of a divorcee, single parenting,  Indian childhood, dealing with society.


I was 10, living in an apartment was fun because there were so many kids to play with. One of the kid's mother saw me for the first time, as they recently moved into our apartment community. She came near me, smiled and asked "What is your name?".

I said "Ananya".

Next questions "What is your father's name ?"
                         "What your father does?"

I just wanted to run from there without answering. the question didn't hurt me, I was just tired of the reactions.

I would say " I live with my mother". In extreme rare cases, the other person, would be considerate and change the subject. But normally people were so insensitively curious  they would keep bombarding me with questions like "Oh, thats sad.What happened?"
"Don't worry, they will get back together"
"How long has it been?"  
"With Whom do you stay?"
"Does your Father meet you?"

Can write endlessly about it, the display of fake sympathy. Over years I was so disgusted with this whole introductory conversation.  I used to wonder why nobody started a conversation asking me "Where your Mother works?". 

After few years, my answers changed. I was now capable of reading  genuine concern over fake empathy. They still asked about my father but I would say "My mother works in a Bank", they would repeat the same question again as if I failed to understand it, then I would say "My parents are separated, I live with my mother." 

Some would manage to say "Am so sorry". If they stopped here, it was good for them else I would smile and sarcastically tell them "Don't be, am not".

My parents separation was something I had accepted from a young age, I was never embarrassed by the actual fact , neither did it hurt me. But what I failed to understand is why the questions, "What is your Mother's name?", "What does your Mother do?", were never asked first!

                                               
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60 comments:

  1. I don't understand it either, why those questions were never asked, and even now aren't asked. I'd probably put it to some aspect of culture that I probably never will understand (and if I did, I'd pretend not to and leave it that way!)

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  2. I guess I'm glad the separation was a good thing for you, even if it led to some trying questions.

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  3. Stereotypical society...that's what it does all the time...

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  4. It's good that you have started to read real empathy, sort out fake sympathy and put back a "dont feel sorry". Once you do that, people stop questioning.. They would be tired to see a 'no reaction'.. as long as one sulks with pain, there is someone to pester.

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  5. your posts are heart touching!
    Nibha

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  6. wht can I say our society is obsessed with the fallacy tht everything starts n ends wid men...ur posts r really good ..thnx for sharing

    Random Thoughts Naba

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  7. Sometimes I'm shocked by how insensitive adults can be towards other people's children. If they really want to have such a personal discussion, why are they asking a child and not your mother?

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  8. Sometimes people enjoy others problems.. We have to be strong and not take peoples disgusting comments to heart.

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  9. I'm glad you retorted back! Such people deserve that!

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  10. Our society is obsessed with men will probably remain so for a foreseeable future. It was really admirable how you retorted back

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  11. I hope my son has the same strength that you showed through all this.....he is just two now...so this will start for him soon....very well written and personally thank ypu for writing this....makes me feel that we, my son and I will be fine :)

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  12. Signifies society's mentality perfectly... The woman is always secondary to man and the man holds more importance. That's why your mum's name and profession didnt matter. Disgusting is the right word to describe this mentality. I'd like to add that I am loving getting to know you through these posts --- you are such a strong and resilient woman! Kudos to you and your mum for that!! Xx

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  13. Can understand Ananya......stereotypical society.....
    Let your emotions flow...



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  14. Such people in the long run will make u strong ! My prayers and hugs to u and ya no need to open up to fake enthusiasts

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  15. It is always the man who is given importance. Sad.

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  16. Where does your mother work? Why doesn't anyone ask this!! I am disgusted too dear with this mindset of people!! Hugs dear, I cannot imagine what it must have felt like! Proud that you came out strong!

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  17. Am saddened by the idle & sometimes malicious curiosity that some people have. I guess people usually do not ask about the mother first is maybe because of the family heirarchy that is prevalent in Indian culture. Maybe some of them mean no harm. My heart goes out to the little girl in the post. It certainly is not easy for those who do not "fit" into the "accepted" family template.

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  18. Well that is how neighbouring aunties are, especially in smaller towns. I somehow never liked talking to them as a kid. I used to either not give any answer or give cryptic answers. They used to later come back to my mother and ask if her son is having low IQ or suffers from autism.

    And yes, they are too concerned about fathers as well. When my mother moved into a second rung town to which father was expecting a tranfer in order to avoid shifting my school in the middle of an academic year, entire neighbouthood was talking how come woman has taken a house all alone with her son.

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  19. If only people spent more time cleaning of the shit in their lives that hovering over the life of others and the choices their parents made.

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  20. I totally agree with you and I am glad you are not sad about it. You will understand my today'd post perfectly....I hope.
    Take care
    http://inderpreetkaur.blogspot.in/2014/04/divorce-i-recommend-it.html

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  21. I can totally empathize!!!

    ~S(t)ri
    Participant|AtoZ Challenge 2014
    Smile, it makes (y)our day!

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  22. People can be so rude! Glad you were able to figure out a way to respond that felt right to you.

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  23. It happens.. I am glad you were able able to accept the fact.. As for those people who keep probing never bother.. Live ur life the way u want to...

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  24. Can't even begin to imagine how difficult this must have been for the little girl...good for her that she grew stronger in spite of or perhaps even because of all this insensitivity and fake sympathy. I can imagine how therapeutic all this writing process must be for you, Ananya! Hats off to you!

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  25. Tough situation. I know people can be mean! It's always about taking a problem and being able to solve it.

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  26. Its probably bcoz those days generally men worked out for a living for the family and the ladies worked at home to prepare food and look after other household chores....(two wheels of chariot of life..very important.)
    so people guessed a mom always to be a house-wife..but now things have changed even ladies have a career ...so questions obviously are what your parents do?Not true everywhere but things are changing slowly...
    everybody has one or the other personal issue so people should never dig into personal matters whenever they meet a person ...should be just few sweet gestures with a smile....I do the same:)

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  27. People shouldn't be so inquisitive. Rather than replying, I would have asked them: "Why do you want to know?" ;)
    Debbie @The Doglady's Den

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  28. I think its more of peoples automated response to the inherent learnt behaviour and thoughts of Patriarchal psyche of our society...

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  29. That's the whole thing...father, brother, husband, son.We all are known by our male counterparts. No one cares who are our mother, sister, wife, daughter. Kudos to you to take it like that.

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  30. Ours is a male dominated society for the most part. So even if a couple divorces, then people just assume that there must be a shortcoming in the women. Why did not these same people admire your mother for single-handedly bringing you up while working and taking care of the home.

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  31. What a male dominant society it is!! People tend to be curious in things which definitely should not be their concerns!

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  32. These are very dumb questions asked and such people are perverts who get pleasure in hurting people. They may not realize..But, I laud your courage to come up with such a honest post. Cheerz, Ananya:)

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  33. You bring up so many great points! It's crazy how people nowadays are mostly just curious yet don't really care!
    Keep your chin up! And don't let people get to you!!

    http://tropicalcolours.blogspot.com.au/

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  34. I feel for you Ananya. Couldn't have been easy to grow up with that kind of pressure. For what it is worth, I am glad you came out of it and are a strong person in your own right.

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  35. I felt what your wrote ..It is really unfortunate that we still have not come out of our patriarchal mindsets

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  36. These people have certainly made you stronger... People are curious about others life and hardly look at their messed-up selves! You gave them a good answer.

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  37. That's the society. There's pretty much no change in the 'then ' and 'now' in society, in some matters ! You're a strong person, that's what matters the most ! Such things would've actually contributed to your strength :)

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  38. When you don't fit in the median range in the bell curve, you need to adapt and have guts to make a mark.. You have adapted well.. A good sense of humour is very essential to live in the society mostly

    GS at Moontime Tunes

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  39. truly disgusting is our society mindset, they are deep down ridiculous in their approach and very discriminate. Having said that people are also very nosy, never stop asking even when the person shows disinterest.

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  40. Patriarchal society, a long way to go .Sigh.

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  41. Alas the irony of it never fails to register us. Why do people have this urge to know!

    Richa

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  42. Humour is the best defence (and offence) sometimes!

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  43. That sounds very stereotype... Nosy people.. Good for you that you learned to deal with it in your way! Way to go, girl:-) !

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  44. Such an annoying and a terrible habit that we come across in our society!! Hate it!

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  45. unproductive society= social image !

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  46. i think each persin are differnt its society that puts a stigma on certian families

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  47. It till makes me wonder how people gather the courage to ask uncomfortable and (simply not their business) questions with so much ease. I'd rather have people not sympathize with me than have fake concern.

    The 2 AM Writer

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  48. I think some people are too nosy and should really mind their own business!

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  49. They probably meant well, asking. Can't say this about everyone, but some may have wanted to encourage you and give you hope. But I know what you mean. Sometimes you need to work things out in your own way and time.
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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  50. Very true. People's condition is serious... Why are they so nosy? If we have accepted how our life is, what problem do they have?

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  51. I think to some people being unnecessarily curious and insensitive comes naturally. I am glad you responded with such spirit even at that young age. Good for you!!

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  52. There are many people who are so curious to know everything about the neighbours, that they are downright rude. Fortunately my neighbours are not inquisitive. That doesn't mean that they are not interested in each other. We tell each other our activities, the good and sad things. We celebrate and mourn together when the time is there.

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  53. It's always tricky to make connection without being intrusive.
    ROG, ABCW

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  54. maybe it's the society. also there are a lot of nosey people in the world :)

    frankly my dear

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  55. I thoughtlessly asked my new neighbour if she was planning on having children and then I could have bitten my tongue out. It certainly was none of my business!!! Sometimes we just make a blunder and wish we hadn't. Glad you were able to get past it.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  56. M is most definitely for mother! Great post!

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  57. Hi,
    came over from ABC..
    Loved reading this and can relate. I've always feared that my daughter will have to go through such stuff.. but I've been helping her say the truth and I guess she has taken it her stride. Hope she will grow up with confidence and acceptance just like you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you friends for sharing your views, concerns and good wishes !
      Your kind words mean a lot to me !

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  58. Refuse to be guilty or apologetic . I guess attack is most often the best defense.

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